From the Directors: Welcome to our 40th Year!
By Sarah O’Dell, Executive Director and Nicole Shadduck, Education Director
We are so happy to be welcoming you to The Children’s School’s 40th year. The school was founded in 1980 by Mary Clagett Smith. We moved to our current location in 1983, remodeled our school building in 2010 and built an addition in 2016. While the last 40 years have been filled with changes, it seems that the last few months have had many (maybe 40 years’ worth) of changes! We experienced a long term closure for the first time. We are wearing masks to school and our relationships are being built online.
We would like to share with you a snapshot of the summer that helped bridge our past and our ‘new normal’. TCS closed in March 2020 and did not reopen for full time care for 101 days! During that time, we hosted Facebook groups, invited families to pick up art bags and said goodbye to the 2019-2020 school year with a car parade. Did anyone notice the teachers were drinking rootbeer? Some families may remember that we end our school year with rootbeer and ice cream parties and we hope to do that again in May 2021.
On June 15th, we began to learn what it is like to have daily screenings and temperature scans. We heightened our health and safety policies and we clean a lot. We have reworked our teacher and class scheduling to keep everyone in their own ‘pods’. These systems have proven to be successful and will continue into the school year. We are so happy to tell all of you that during our summer programs (11 weeks), there were no positive cases of COVID-19 and no closures. We will work our hardest to continue on this trend.
TCS is welcoming a full group of families back this fall! There are 62 families and a lot of sibling pairs. 28 of our families are brand new to the TCS community! We do have a mix of returning and new families in every class this year. Welcome (or welcome back) to all!
It feels a little strange to be welcoming a new school year with a list of thanks, but we want to acknowledge all of the support we have received over the last few months that has given us the ‘push and energy’ needed to start this year with success.
Thank you to our TCS families! Your words of gratitude and encouragement have kept us going while we deciphered the swirl of information around us to safely and sanely reopen TCS.
Thank you to our TCS teachers! Your dedication to keeping your classroom a safe place to be a kid to play and learn is why we are here, every day!
Thank you to our TCS Board of Directors! Your guidance and support as our sounding board and assisting with decision making is one of our biggest resources. Your time and service do not go unnoticed.
Thank you to Mary Clagett Smith, TCS founding director! Your thoughtful words and responses to our emails affirm for us that your intention for TCS and the work you began at The Children’s School is strong today in our 40th year! We hold your words and ideals in the highest regard.
And thank you to our own families! We would not have been able to put in the work required without your support when we needed it and personal space when we needed that, too.
To our 2020-2021 school families—we are excited to share in your child’s early years. Please reach out to either one of us (or both) to talk, ask questions, share information, celebrate your child’s successes and/or commiserate about the struggles, too. We are truly ‘in this together’.
Keep an eye out for our weekly and monthly emails. We look forward to getting to know you and your children this year, even when it is tricky from behind our masks.
Please click here to read this month’s issue. TCS Times September 2020